SANTA ANA – A nurse with 14 years of experience was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of physically abusing a boy with disabilities, authorities said.
Oscar Gilbert Felix, 54, of Orange, was booked into the Santa Ana City Jail on suspicion of felony child abuse, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
The mother of a 6-year-old boy who uses a feeding tube and is unable to hear and communicate notified police of the suspected abuse on Monday.
The woman told police that within the last three weeks she noticed her son had become aggressive and suspected Felix, who had been providing care five days a week since August, was being inattentive, Bertagna said.
The boy’s mother installed a nanny cam on Friday, Oct. 27 in the living room of her home on Lacy Street to monitor Felix. A 46-second video clip shows the boy trying to get the attention of the nurse, who appears to be texting on a cell phone. The boy then moves some items off of a counter onto the floor, apparently angering the nurse.
“In the video, the nurse kicks him, reaches down and slaps him and pinches him,” Bertagna said.
During a police interrogation Tuesday about the suspected abuse, Felix made “incriminating statements,” Bertagna said.
“Had the boy’s mother not used a nanny cam, and had the suspect not made those statements during the interview, we would not have known about this incident,” he said. “The boy’s mother did the right thing in contacting us.”
Police are attempting to determine if Felix had been hired to care for other special-needs children in the area.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Santa Ana police through the Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.
Felix was employed by Maxim Healthcare Services, which has an office in Orange, Bertagna said.
“The care and safety of our patients is our highest priority,” a Maxim Healthcare Services spokesperson said in an email. “Immediately upon learning of this incident, we suspended the employee and initiated an investigation. …
“As a result, we (now) have terminated the employee and notified the California Board of Nursing. We have fully cooperated with the Santa Ana Police Department in their investigation thus far and will continue to lend our full cooperation.”Read More